Experimental investigation on air bubble dynamics during fine powder discharge in a silo

Li Tsung Sheng, Shu San Hsiau, Chun Yu Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


An unstable discharge rate occurs during dry fine powder discharge from a silo due to significant two–phase solid/gas interactions that occur in powder flows. In addition, the air bubble phenomenon may occur in a silo during fine powder discharge. The bubble dynamics seriously influence the fine powder discharge stability in the silo. Therefore, for some industrial applications with silo discharge of fine material, it is important to understand it. In this study, we experimentally investigate the effect of air bubbles on fine powder discharge behavior, including the discharge mass flow rate and variation in pressure inside the silo. An initial collapse of the powder bed in the silo is observed at the beginning of the discharge process, causing the pressure to change rapidly. Moreover, the dependence of the bubble size, bubble rising velocity, number of bubbles, and frequency of bubble generation on the size of the fine powder are analyzed in detail. The air–loss index for different particle sizes is calculated to investigate the proportion of the air flowing into the silo that disperses into the voids between the powders and does not become part of a bubble. The bubble properties in the experimental cases that use different particle sizes are consistent with the Geldart particle classification of the used powders. The results of this study successfully illustrate the bubble dynamics and the discharge behavior of fine powder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-120
Number of pages15
JournalAdvanced Powder Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Air bubble
  • Fine powder discharge
  • Silo


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